Ed Young, Agnus Dei, 2016_TNCM Collection

- Young was born in Welkom, South Africa. He views the art world as a microcosm for the broader social landscape, challenging bigotry, Young’s work slick in production and irreverent in subject matter slices through sentiment and façade. Exposing social dynamics without the filter of politically correct manners. 

Agnus Dei is the invocation of the Lamb of God sung or recited as part of the Roman Catholic Latin Mass; it may be repeated as many times as necessary until the rite has reached its conclusion. Recited in Latin, the meaning of the words literally and theologically are lost on most. Young’s video captures a young woman reading aloud from the art history text, an introduction to Relational Aesthetics by Nicolas Bourriaud. She struggles but perseveres to pronounce words correctly, her earnest though frustrated confusion with the meaning is palpable. Language has long been associated with power. Dissecting the entomology of words unveils the attitudes of the societal status quo, at the time when the words fell into everyday use. Art like religion, has through its jargon and sacred texts, reinforced power positions and servitude often along cultural or gender lines.